May 27, 2020 Living Life to the Fullest - Father Michael's Words to Live By
“I came that you might have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)
The old saying, “Life goes on…” is certainly a fitting phrase for life. Life does indeed go on. We work, we eat, we sleep, and we play. We work, we eat, we sleep, and we play. LIFE GOES ON AND ON AND ON! OR IS THERE MORE?
Cynics would argue that life stinks and things go wrong and break your heart so it is no wonder people become bitter and give up.
Samuel Johnson vehemently countered the cynic’s bleak view of life when he argued: “Oftentimes, things go wrong and sometimes life seems to break you down so that life can build you up – so that you can be all that you were intended to be."
Jim Valvano was the famous basketball coach at North Carolina State University. Coach “Jimmy V” as he was affectionately called seemed to have it all: A wonderful career as one of college basketball’s premier college coaches, a beautiful wife and three lovely daughters, and great fortune and fame as one of sport’s most influential sports figures. And he would attest that “Life was good!” – that is until he was stricken with bone cancer at the early age of 47. In his battle to become a cancer survivor – he courageously wrote: "How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you must have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal, and you have to be willing to work for it (despite the odds and what life might throw your way)."
VALVANO’S GREAT ESPY SPEECH:
Valvano was diagnosed with bone cancer in June 1992. In July, he found out that it had metastasized. Shortly before his death, he spoke at the inaugural ESPY Awards presented by ESPN, on March 3, 1993. While accepting the inaugural Arthur Ashe Courage and Humanitarian Award he announced the creation of the "V Foundation", an organization dedicated to finding a cure for cancer. He announced that the foundation's motto would be "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."
His speech became legendary, and he closed the speech by saying, "Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities BUT it cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul. And those three things are going to carry on forever. I thank you and God bless you all." Jim Valvano received a rousing standing ovation from the ESPY crowd.
WORDS TO LIVE BY:
Jim Valvano died less than two months after his famous ESPY speech and after a year-long battle with cancer. He is interred in the Cedar Hill Section of Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, North Carolina. His tombstone reads: "Take time every day to laugh, to think, to cry."
AND THIS IS THE CHALLENGE FOR ALL OF US: TO BE PASSIONATE IN LIFE – TO TAKE TIME EVERY DAY TO LAUGH, TO THINK, AND TO CRY!!!!!
Frederico Fellini once said: "There is no end in life ... there is only the infinite passion of life."
MY MOTTO: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid into heaven sideways having spent one’s life in service to a worthy cause – body thoroughly used up and worn out and screaming, HOOAH! What a Ride!"